Earth Day is an annual event which shines a light on environmental movements throughout the world. It aims to raise awareness of green issues and encourages us all to lower our carbon footprints.
There’s no escaping the inevitable impact the automotive industry has on the environment, but, equally, you can’t ignore the huge efforts that are being made to make it more sustainable.
Here are three areas in which the automotive industry is driving an admirable green initiative.
One of the most exciting areas in which the automotive sector is driving forward sustainably is in the realm of electric vehicles. From cars to trucks, the combustion engine’s fate looks largely sealed (if not soon, certainly in the not-too-distant future).
The goal of electric vehicle design and production is to significantly reduce the amount of fossil fuel used in private and public transport.
It’s no mean feat, but electric cars are fast becoming a common sight on roads throughout the world, and this is having a positive impact on owners’ pockets, too.
Some of the biggest names in the business are taking an aggressive approach with their electric vehicle initiatives. Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover, for instance, have confirmed that they’ll stop launching new car models that are powered by internal combustion from 2020.
Likely to put a smile on the faces of both motorists and environmentalists, the work being done to increase fuel efficiency for vehicles that still rely on diesel and petrol power is proving transformative.
For instance, a recent report by the US Department of Energy revealed that the 2020 Chevy Spark can save as much as $1,250 in fuel costs over five years of ownership, compared to the average new vehicle.
This is thanks largely to new engine technology that’s more efficient and which can combine high levels of power with lower CO2 emissions without having to rely on lighter vehicles.
It’s for this reason that petrol cars in particular won’t be going anywhere just yet (although the diesel engine’s days are clearly numbered).
One of the toughest areas in which the automotive industry needs to improve its sustainability lies within manufacturing.
The amount of energy and the sheer volume of resources required to build modern vehicles at volume is colossal, but that hasn’t stopped car makers devising ingenious ways to lower their carbon footprints.
They’re focusing on waste management, energy and water conservation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This has led to car manufacturers using more recyclable materials and turning to fuel alternatives that are far kinder to the planet.
Modern cars are consequently built using plastics, steel, aluminium and even recycled fabrics.
Earth Day’s strap line is “Earth Day is every day, and anywhere you are”. A sentiment we wholeheartedly agree with. This year, it’s going digital, and you can expect the automotive industry to continue doing its bit to help reduce carbon emissions.
Happy Earth Day, one and all - finally something we can all celebrate!
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